LATJ: Hanging On

10 09 2009

As I was reading this chapter I was immediately struck by the opening paragraph. About Mary, it says, “She had finally found a friend in Jesus, who treated her with dignity and who had forgiven her.” It occurred to me to ask “why?”. Not why had Jesus forgiven her, but why did this come about? Here was a woman that was looked down upon by society, yet she became a believer. And now she was the first to see Jesus resurrected. I don’t think that is an accident. But back up a minute to the point in time when Jesus first spoke to her at the well. When Jesus saw her He saw a person in great need. He didn’t see a lost sole, but a sole with possibility. He made Himself available to her, He spoke with her and showed her compassion. He showed her that she was valuable, to Him. That encounter changed her life forever.

I think that message is so very important. Every person is valuable to God. We as a society are so quick to categorize people, elevating and lowering people based on who they are, what they do, where they live, etc. Jesus took the time to speak with Mary and spend time with her. He showed her that she was valuable and she responded. One of the most basic human needs is to feel that we have value. It is our responsibility as Christians to help others feel their value first in Christ, but they will have a hard time getting there if we don’t also show that they are valuable to us. In the coming weeks and months I want to try and remember this thought.

What about You?
Question: Do you wish Jesus would simply speak audibly to you and let you know what He wants you to do? Do you wish you could just see Him one time and then you’d be sure He’s there?

Of course it would be irrefutable if Christ appeared to us and spoke, telling us everything we needed to know. But then that is not faith. Hebrews 11:1 says that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Do you really have faith in something that you can touch and feel. I suppose you can have “faith” that the chair you are sitting in will hold you up, but I don’t think that is the kind of faith that God is talking about. And even then, that kind of faith is not pleasing to God. Hebrews 11:6 says “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God gives us enough evidence to know who He is. It is up to us to make a decision and believe. The enduring and life-changing faith is one that trusts in God, even without physically seeing Him.

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